A Civil Service Pension with an average employer contribution of 27%
Higher Executive Officer
Type of role
Environment and Sustainability
Full-time, Job share, Part-time
Number of jobs available
North West England
About the job
This position is based in Crewe, Manchester
Do you have a passion for nature and the environment? Do you want to make a real difference and secure significant environmental gains in the present and the future? Do you enjoy working in a team? Can you see yourself advising communities and customers to maximise gains for the Natural Environment?
If this appeals to you, a career at Natural England offers rewarding opportunities to secure environmental improvements and play your part in creating a better future for people and nature.
The priority work Natural England is delivering includes:
- Establishing a Nature Recovery Network to help wildlife thrive
- Monitoring environmental changes to identify and help reduce the effects of climate change
- Working with farmers and landowners to develop greener food production methods
- Advising on plans for new developments to maximise gains for nature
- Providing ways for people to better connect with nature, including green social prescribing
We are the Government’s Adviser for the natural environment, playing a vital role in delivering the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, an ambitious vision which brings new opportunities to protect and enhance and to achieve real outcomes for the environment.
Find out more about the work of Natural England at www.gov.uk/government/organisations/natural-england
Wherever possible Natural England accommodates requests for both full-time and part-time hours and other flexible working patterns to help employees achieve a good work/life balance and maintain their health and wellbeing.
Natural England provides excellent opportunities for career progression, training and development tailored to your role. From induction to ongoing learning and development, everyone in Natural England is supported to develop their skills and capabilities. Everyone has 10 days to devote to personal learning and development, as well as an additional 3 days to volunteer.
You will have access to Civil Service Pension and benefits arrangements and generous leave allowances (33 day per year pro rata), as well as flexible working, to help you achieve a work-life balance that works for you and us.
You will have access to a range of benefits including discounts on shopping vouchers, cycle to work scheme, and childcare vouchers. You can also join the Civil Service Sport club which offer discounts on a range of sports and leisure opportunities as well as social events.
Natural England is a fantastic place to work, where difference is celebrated.
We’re committed to fairness and equality for all, so you feel valued for who you are and what you do. Our shared values help us work together to benefit the communities we serve. Our thriving employee-led diversity networks support our inclusive culture and contribute to our Diversity Action Plan.
Natural England is adopting hybrid working – which means our staff work from a flexible range of locations, encompassing home, offices (ours and our partners) and relevant sites. All new staff will be formally linked to one of our 25 offices across England and the expectation is that all new staff will be able to access their local office to be part of the community of staff in their geographical area. Full time staff are expected to attend their associated office for a minimum of one day a week.
Staff members are required to carry out all their duties working in this way and cannot do so from an overseas location at any time. Travel expenses will be paid if work related travel is required but does not apply to travel between home and your associated office.
National team roles can be linked with any Natural England office while Area Team roles will be linked with an office in the relevant geographic area.
View a map of our office locations here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/natural-england-office-locations
The Cheshire to Lancashire Team provide environmental leadership across an area of 6 million people and home to some magnificent natural assets, where Nature Recovery and Partnerships are at the heart of everything we do. Restoring habitats, reconnecting the natural environment, and connecting people with nature across the Lancashire uplands of West Pennine Moors and Bowland Fells, the wetlands and rivers of Cheshire, the wildlife-rich Irish Sea coast and urban heartland of Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region.
This role is seeking to find someone to support the area team in integrating Catchment Sensitive Farming with advice on protected sites to improve the condition of our protected wetlands and the enhancement of the wider wetland ecological network. This role will work closely with locally based farm advisers as well as partners and stakeholders, to restore and expand the wetland nature recovery network, improving water quality and quantity.
The focus will be to enhance wetland creation and restoration, contributing to projects such as the Lost Wetland Nature Recovery Project. This may be through providing support to Catchment Sensitive Farming advisers and other farm advisors on protected sites casework, with occasional support via farm advice on high tier schemes, with a focus on wetland protected sites. The individual should also identify opportunities for collaboration with partners and stakeholders where these lead to the restoration of wetlands or use wetlands as a nature-based tool. This will involve working closely with the Senior Advisers to identify opportunities, and proactively engage with landowners to deliver habitat creation/restorative outcomes. The role will additionally be responsible for commissioning surveys, feasibility studies and producing wetland creation/restoration plans.
The role may also entail occasional support when capacity allows on protected sites casework and monitoring as well as mailbox management.
It is expected that candidates will need to have a good level of agricultural knowledge and a broad understanding of hydro ecology. An understanding of freshwater issues, and appropriate interventions such as agri-environment schemes and nature-based solutions, would also be beneficial. The person should be knowledgeable on wetland ecology and how the protected sites system works to be confident to support casework and project work across the team.
- Ensure that wetland restoration/creation and Catchment Sensitive Farming delivery is fully embedded and supported across the area team and/or wider Natural England programmes and delivery.
- Deliver technical advice and input regarding water quality with specific emphasis on wetlands including protected sites casework and agri-environment schemes.
- Lead on the restoration of protected wetlands and creation of new wetland habitats specifically within priority areas.
- Lead on projects that support the delivery of wetland creation/restoration such as commissioning hydrological surveys, developing restoration plans, modelling opportunities etc.
- Help develop and focus skills of stakeholders, partners, and internal staff such as catchment groups in water quality monitoring, delivery of integrated biodiversity outcomes and integrated approach.
- Secure agreement and ownership in the priority area on key pollution issues and solutions. Achieve change in land management practices on farm and help farmers and landowners to take action.
- Communicate, advocate, and promote Catchment Sensitive Farming activity internally with Natural England colleagues and externally with farmers, land managers and partners.
- Work with Natural England colleagues and partners such as the Environment Agency, water companies and catchment partnerships to deliver a joined-up approach including developing formal partnerships where appropriate.
Frequent farm and site visits, and partnership working are required. The post holder will be required as part of regular, day-to-day work to visit farms/sites and walk over difficult terrain and around farm buildings within the geography of the relevant area. Sometimes this may be in inclement weather conditions.
The successful candidate will:
- Understand and apply relevant environmental and legislation, policy and governance frameworks to your work
- Have a good level of agricultural knowledge and appropriate interventions through agri-environmental schemes
- Have a broad understanding of wetland ecology, hydrology and freshwater pressures, including identifying how activities can impact protected features
- Understand and be able to apply appropriate management techniques to maintain or enhance the condition of an SSSI or international site (remedies, condition threats)
- Have the ability to identify how land interacts with the surrounding landscape and habitats e.g. through hydrological linkages
It is essential that the post holder has a current, valid, full UK driving licence. Some national travel may be required, which might involve overnight stays.
How to Apply:
We welcome and encourage applications from all communities. Natural England is accredited to the Disability Confident Scheme, which denotes organisations which have a positive attitude towards disabled people. Disabled applicants who meet the minimum requirements for the role at the shortlisting stage are guaranteed an invitation to interview.
If you require a reasonable adjustment at interview, or there is anything else you would like the panel to take into consideration, you should notify us of this at application stage where possible, or well in advance of your interview.
This vacancy uses competency-based assessment. We’ll assess you against the competencies below during the selection process:
- Putting People at the Heart of the Environment
- Personal Effectiveness
- Work Delivery
- Technical Skills and Specialist Knowledge
When completing the application form you should present relevant examples using the STAR format. Give us an example of how you have demonstrated the competency (which can be work related or from another area of your life) and tell us about the Situation, the specific Task you had to undertake, the specific Actions you took, and the Result (both immediate and in a wider context) of your doing so.
Examples should be given in no more than 250 words for each competency.
Competence 1 Professional competency
Putting People at the Heart of the Environment
• Listen to and understand our diverse partners and customers so that you achieve the best outcomes for them and the organisation you represent (Practitioner)
• Work proactively and collaboratively with stakeholders and partners to identify and secure opportunities to deliver gains for people and nature (Practitioner)
Competence 2 Professional competency
• Use clear and appropriate language, communication styles and techniques that engage your audience (Basic)
• Make and explain objective decisions which combine your professional judgement and evidence (Practitioner)
Competence 3 Professional competency
• Handle data responsibly, understand your role in good governance, and comply with delegations, policies and procedures (Practitioner)
• Manage and deliver your work to meet agreed targets and deadlines (Practitioner)
Competence 4 Professional competency
Technical Skills /Specialist Knowledge (STAR format is not required when answering the Technical Skills & Specialist Knowledge competency)
• A degree in agriculture, conservation, or equivalent degree and/or relevant experience (Essential)
• Experience in providing on farm advice to farmers and being able to communicate effectively with farmers and persuade them to engage with Catchment Sensitive Farming (Essential)
• Understand appropriate management techniques to maintain, enhance or restore the condition of wetlands or wetland related habitats or systems (Essential)
• Experience/knowledge of wetland management and/or habitat creation works, specifically the creation of different wetland habitat types (Desirable)
• Understanding of the challenges affecting our water environment e.g. climate change, drought, flooding, abstraction, pollution etc. (Desirable)
Please refer to Job Description
Alongside your salary of £27,273, Natural England contributes £7,390 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.
- Learning and development tailored to your role
- An environment with flexible working options
- A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
- A Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%
Things you need to know
Selection process details
Please refer to Job Description
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.
Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.
This job is broadly open to the following groups:
- UK nationals
- nationals of the Republic of Ireland
- nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
- nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
- nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
- individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
- Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service
Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.
We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles (opens in a new window).
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
Apply and further information
Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.
Contact point for applicants
Job contact :
- Name :Rebecca Wright
- Email :[email protected]
- Telephone :07500249185
- Email :[email protected]
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